Why smarter people precedes smarter storage

Are these stats — care of Steve Wojtowecz, VP of Storage Software Development at IBM via @forbes — eye-opening or what?
  • “The combined amount of tablet and smartphone traffic is predicted to generate 2.7 exabytes of data per month in 2015. That’s nearly 3 times all the mobile data generated in the U.S. in 2010.
  • More than 75% of the data in the world today was created in the last two years.
  • Facebook allows users to share 30 billion pieces of content each month. Twitter’s active user base generates 140 million tweets per day. Combined, these sites create 17 terabytes of data every day.
  • IDC states nearly 75% of the data that exists today is a copy.
  • For those wondering how big a zettabyte is, it is equal to 1 trillion gigabytes or 1,000 exabytes or about 250 billion DVDs.”

The post by Steve is not an argument for more storage, it’s an argument for smarter storage, and I could not agree more…with one caveat.

What!?  A storage guy not basking in the glory of the capacity explosion to sell more storage? Nope. I’ve been down that road plenty of times. Besides, the demand for storage is a no-brainer, but it’s not the only pain here. The pain is what we do with the data, not how much we create. Granted, data is being created on a scale never seen before, and it’s just the beginning. Keeping up with it is priority number one, but understanding it is what will ultimately determine who wins, and who doesn’t.

If you consider the Dictionary.com definition of data: “a body of facts; information” .

That “body of facts” was largely in our control.  We sought data to arrive at a conclusion. Remember chemistry class in high school?  We deployed the Scientific Method of:

  • Ask a Question
  • Do Background Research
  • Construct a Hypothesis
  • Test Your Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment
  • Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion
  • Communicate Your Results

Today, data is being created so fast, that “asking a question” has become the most critical (and most difficult) stage of the scientific method.  What happens when businesses ask the wrong question?  They ultimately get the wrong answer and are steered in the wrong direction. This can make or break a company, especially a start-up.

Smarter storage is only the vehicle to the conclusion. What we really need is smarter leaders asking the right question, smarter data scientists running the experiment, and smarter analysts to draw the conclusions. Sorry folks, technology cannot bail us out here. Just like that science fair when we were kids…the grade we end up getting is entirely up to us.

With exabytes of data already at your fingertips — what questions have yet to be answered for you?

Related Posts:

Wanted big time: data scientists
It’s not just a hard drive, it’s a treasure map
Storage is a 24×7 content drive thru…so “have it your way”

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  1. […] it, is not just about capacity. It’s more about what the data tells us as I talked about here and here.  IBM just so happens to be one of the big players in big data with their acquisition of […]

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